Case Study

SONIFI Solutions, Inc. Creates Seamless Reporting, Saves Thousands of Dollars Annually

Executive Summary

SONIFI Solutions, Inc. is a technology integrator that services the hospitality and healthcare industries, offering interactive television, OTT (over-the-top) streaming and internet services to more than one million hotel rooms and 500 million people annually. Previously, manual and tedious processes made it difficult to make data-informed decisions, and SONIFI sought a new solution. Since deploying Splunk Enterprise and taking advantage of new features, including metrics and event annotation, SONIFI has seen benefits including:

  • Saving $85,000 per year by centralizing reports and implementing more efficient processes
  • Reducing reporting time from days to minutes
  • Answering customer questions about five times faster
Challenges
    • Difficult to make sense of the vast amount of data to make business decisions
    • Customers’ deadlines and expectations required quick answers to questions
    • Data spread across multiple sources
Business Impact
    • Saving $85,000 annually by centralizing reporting and streamlining processes
    • Saving $100,000 per month by correlating viewing habits with billing data and detecting questionable cancellations
    • Reducing reporting time from days to minutes
    • Answering questions in real time
    • Gaining insight into how hotel guests use products
Data Sources
    • Call center
    • Billing
    • Navigation
    • User behavior

Why Splunk

“Data is important to SONIFI. We gather insights about how guests and patients are using our system,” explains Kara Heermans, VP of product management and user experience at SONIFI. “We then use the insights from this data to make better decisions about our products, and to provide information to our hotel or hospital partners about how to adjust the system to serve their customers’ needs better.”

Previously, with large volumes of data in multiple places, SONIFI struggled to quickly access and understand its data. Additionally, SONIFI spent weeks to generate reports, with significant amounts of time dedicated to developing tables to first structure the raw data, and then to test and report on this data. With Splunk Enterprise, the team can now ingest this same data raw — no tables or structure required. This ability cuts data query time from one day to one hour. This time savings enables engineers to detect bugs and generate accurate reports faster.

Clara Merriman, a business intelligence engineer, knew Splunk was the right solution after seeing a demo with SONIFI data. “We noticed an error in our own data during this demo, which was exciting because we obviously didn’t know we had a problem until we saw it done in Splunk,” recalls Merriman. Since then, SONIFI has adopted Splunk Enterprise as its primary reporting solution.

“Before we were cross-referencing multiple databases, building massive spreadsheets, which was very manual and tedious. Splunk put all of that information into a visual format that’s usable, empowering us to make better decisions,” says Heermans. “Previously, what had taken us days, we’re now able to do in hours, if not minutes.”

A window into guests’ behavior

Splunk Enterprise has given SONIFI a window into guest user behavior, enabling engineers to see how these guests are navigating systems. Also, engineers learn what types of services the guests are interested in, and where they may be encountering problems. With Splunk Enterprise, SONIFI now can understand what wording and graphics are most useful to drive greater click-throughs and usage of its services.

SONIFI also uses Splunk Enterprise to gain insights for hotel partners, helping the company create tailored experiences for guests. For example, SONIFI created a live continuous Wi-Fi survey of properties. With survey data, SONIFI used Splunk Enterprise to present a visual heat map of the Wi-Fi signal stream throughout properties. Customers are now able to see the signal strengths in each guest room, and SONIFI can identify and address potential issues before guests are affected.

“Event annotation in Splunk Enterprise is an amazing feature. It’s useful to be able to gain clear and visual insights from our data describing what happened during a certain period. Improvements to search performance combined with the new metrics and event annotations features will help improve the overall search time, enabling users to get results faster than ever. With metrics, we’ll also be able to serve more users and run more searches in the same timeframe it would typically take us to run regular SPL searches.”



Clara Merriman, Business Intelligence Engineer, Data Technology
SONIFI Solutions, Inc.

Seamless reporting

Splunk has become SONIFI’s main reporting tool, with more than 180 reports and 320-plus dashboards, spanning multiple departments. For example, Splunk Enterprise reports and dashboards help SONIFI leverage data that helps drive insights that enhance the overall customer experience.

“Splunk brings in all of the data we need; instead of having to grab it from multiple sources and spending a lot of time trying to concatenate it into one specific report,” says Merriman. “With Splunk, we’re able to bring data from disparate sources together, seamlessly in a single and clear pane of glass.”

Driving billing decisions

SONIFI has also adopted Splunk Enterprise to provide insight into its billing decisions, allowing the company to save $100,000 monthly. Currently, SONIFI uses the Splunk platform to correlate customers’ viewing habits with billing data, detect questionable cancellations and implement preventative processes.

SONIFI’s new journey with metrics

SONIFI is taking advantage of new Splunk Enterprise features including event annotation, which pinpoints and precisely describes what happened during a certain period, and the new metrics monitoring and alerting capabilities.

“Improvements to search performance combined with the new metrics and event annotations features will help improve the overall search time, enabling users to get results faster than ever,” says Merriman. “With metrics, we’ll also be able to serve more users and run more searches in the same timeframe it would typically take us to run regular SPL searches.”

“Before we were cross-referencing multiple databases, building massive spreadsheets, which was very manual and tedious. Splunk put all of that information into a visual format that’s usable, empowering us to make better decisions. Previously, what had taken us days, we’re now able to do in hours, if not minutes.”



Kara Heermans, VP of Product Management and User Experience
SONIFI Solutions, Inc.